Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Need for A Christmas Carol

            I get into the Christmas spirit very easily and wholeheartedly.  I love Christmas.  Outside of religious reasons I love Christmastime because it is the one time of year when it is encouraged and normal to be interested in toys, cartoons and to have a childlike mindset.  Christmas is always full of memories for me and I always seem to come across new ones.
            I completely devour everything related to the holidays.  I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of songs and watch a lot of cartoons.  As a consumer of Christmas there is one thing about the holiday that is very evident: There are a lot of adaptations of A Christmas Carol.
            There are movies of it, it is spoofed on sitcoms, theatre groups perform it and references to it are part of our cultural vernacular.  And every year there are even more versions added.  Each person has their personal favorites.  Be it the 1938 MGM film, Alistair Sim, Albert Finney, George C. Scott, Mr. Magoo, Scrooged, Flintstones, Patrick Stewart, or the original book.  The three Carols I watch every year are the lesser-known 1971 Richard Williams animated short, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Mickey’s Christmas Carol, which is my all time favorite holiday special.  Each has its individual take on Scrooge’s journey.
            So why are there so many tellings of A Christmas Carol?  And why do we keep retelling the story?  We all know the story by heart and it is one of the most retold stories in our culture.  An argument could easily be made that since it is such a familiar story that it is very marketable.  But that does not explain why we keep buying it.
            I think that the simple answer is that we keep telling and listening to A Christmas Carol, hundreds of years after it was originally published, is because it is a story we need to be reminded of.  If we look at our own lives we are most likely more like Scrooge near the beginning of the story than near the end.  No matter how many times we hear, see or tell it we are not learning from it.
            We are all uptight, concerned about gain or practicality.  We easily forget the good things that Christmas represents.  Things such as family, faith, good will to others and basic positive traits are easily forgotten amidst busy lives.
            Now I will never tire of A Christmas Carol, it is a perfect story that I always love.  But my challenge for everyone and myself is to try and act like Scrooge after he was visited by spirits.  To be open to change and focus on helping others, remembering family, being joyous in our actions and to keep Christmas with us throughout the year.
            Oh and God bless us, everyone!  Have a Merry Christmas!

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